Top 5 Malaysian Landmarks

Top 5 Malaysian Landmarks

Mulu Caves

These caves offer spectacular natural landscapes for visitors to explore in Malaysia. Situated in mountainous rainforests, this beautiful subterranean realm includes the Sarawak Chamber – one of the world's largest caves. Another of these vast caverns, Deer Cave, contains vast numbers of wrinkle-lipped bats. There can be few spectacles in nature as jaw-dropping as the sight of thousands of these chirruping creatures swarming from the caves every sunset, hunting for their supper!

Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation

Opening in 1964, this rehabilitation centre has been opening its doors to orphaned baby orangutans for 50 years. Unfortunately, illegal hunting and the effects of extensive logging have created significant numbers of young orangutans in need of nurturing and care. Once the centre has trained these beautiful and sensitive creatures, they are released into the wild again. The reserve contains up to 80 orangutans, and is extremely popular with tourists. As well as obtaining spectacular photographic mementoes of these wonderful primates, they can learn all about current conservation plans.

Mount Kinabalu

Borneo's highest summit rises 4,095 metres above the forest floor. Renowned across the world for its biodiversity, the region boasts over 300 birds species, over 100 mammal species, and some 600 species of ferns. Kinabulu's main peak is easily climbed, and the good news is no mountaineering equipment is required (although an experienced guide is a necessity).

Petronas Twin Towers

Until 1994, these magnificent towering edifices were the tallest in the world. They remain a jaw-dropping sight for visitors to Kuala Lumpur, and are still the highest ‘architectural twins' anywhere on the planet. Consisting of 88 floors, they are mostly built from reinforced concrete, their glass exteriors made to resemble Islamic motifs (reflecting the art of the region's Muslim religion). A world-famous sky bridge connects the towers a dizzying 42 floors above Kuala Lumpur.

The view from here is simply unforgettable. From this vantage point Kuala Lumour will stretch before you. Use your guide book to reference all the different points of interest, either close at hand, amongst the capital's hustle and bustle, or further out towards the city's verdant, palm tree-clogged suburbs.

Originally opened in 1999, this magnificent structure was intended to stake Kuala Lumpur's claim as the globe's newest, vibrant, commercial capital. It is so much more than just a towering building. As well as containing floor and floors of office space, there is a park, and a vast shopping mall. You can relax here, or embark on some serious retail therapy in the array of shops and plazas.

Why Malaysia is the perfect winter holiday retreat

Why Malaysia is the perfect winter holiday retreat

For westerners considering a holiday to escape the winter cold, heading east is often a popular option. But many still consider those countries with the strongest European association – Singapore, Hong Kong, or onwards to Australia or New Zealand. They are missing out on are some of the Far East's most fabulous locations.

Whether they are looking to soak up the rays on a beach, or a family-friendly destination with scope to keep youngsters fully occupied, Malaysia offer more than most. This location is becoming increasingly popular towards the end of December as western tourists shake off the post-Christmas blues, not to mention their over-indulgence in turkey and all the trimmings.

Malaysia's island retreats

Of course, Malaysia is far from one country. Its two main portions are split by the South China Sea into Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, the latter sharing the island of Borneo with Brunei and parts of Indonesia. There are many island sanctuaries where travellers can bask in the idyllic palm-fringed surrounds. In fact, Travel and Leisure Magazine named Malaysia as the source of the world's most romantic island getaways for 2013.

The holiday accommodation ranges from fabulous five-star hotels, catering for everything you could possibly require during your Far Eastern break, to beautiful bungalows built on stilts, poised above the turquoise seas. Easing into sleep against a backdrop of gently lapping waves is considered the epitome of luxury by city dwellers more used to urban noise and traffic!

The Malaysian Experience

While snorkeling or while snorkeling or diving in crystal clear, or sunning on golden beaches, may be the holiday of choice for some, others may prefer a bit more activity. Malaysia is such a melting pot of people and cultures there is never a dull moment for those wishing to savour the atmosphere in its more built-up regions.

Its capital, Kuala Lumpur, is a cosmopolitan metropolis that can offer visitors diverse attractions. No matter what your tastes for cuisine are you will find a range of sumptuous restaurants and cafes, offering you an incredibly diverse taste of the Far-East. The bustling city might seem slightly intimidating for first-time tourists, but the locals will quickly make you feel at home. There is a good transport infrastructure for getting around the various attractions and places of interest, whether your preferred mode is rail, tram or taxi.

Galleries as well as museums that trace the evolution of the region's many cultures. Wherever you are in Malaysia, whether it's a large city or a smaller town, you are never too far from lush countryside. After a day spent transferring from various trains or taxis to places on your Kuala Lumpur ‘to do' list, a great idea is to take some time out exploring the hinterland. There are forest trails that can be booked, where experienced guides will introduce you to the wilder side of the nation. Climbing through the rugged landscapes, surrounded by tall trees, beautifully-coloured tropical plants, against the backdrop of chattering monkeys and exotic birds, will be an unforgettable experience. You might even be lucky enough to spot one of Malaysia's most famous residents, its furtive orangutans.

Borneos Top 5 Nightspots

Borneos Top 5 Nightspots

Malaysia's eastern region may not have the bustling streets of the capital over on the other side of the South China Sea. Nevertheless the island has plenty to offer visitors wishing to unwind after a long day exploring the sights.


The Kuching district in Sarawak has built an excellent reputation for its lively nightlife over many years. Once you've eaten out and sampled a few delicious drinks, it's only natural to feel like extending the party atmosphere. And the good news is that most of Sarawak's pub, clubs and bars remain open until one in the morning.

Sarawak is a labyrinth of crowded lanes that are brimming with hotels and cafes. Depending on your own personal tastes, DJs will be belting out the latest dance sounds, or if you would prefer, you can listen to live bands belting it out. Amongst the hot clubs here are the Living Room, Bla Bla Bla and The Junk.


About half-way up Sabah's western seaboard you will find its friendly capital, Kota Kinabalu. Although the city itself is somewhat grim looking, consisting of a dense grid of sometimes ugly concrete buildings, the locals like nothing better than letting their hair down when the sun goes down. You night out should start at the Waterfront Esplanade where there is a choice of fine dining experiences. Is an excellent choice of places to visit including ‘resto' bars such as BED. Beach Street, at the town centre, is where you will find a diverse variety of watering holes within a short distance. Whether its karaoke or live Filipino music that turns you on, you are guaranteed an excellent night out.


Many Malaysians like to take a trip into the enclave of Brunei. Although this is a strictly Muslim state, where the public consumption of alcohol has been banned since 1991, the locals make up for the lack of vibrant pubs and clubs by offering some excellent dining facilities. The retail outlets are also well worth a visit.


If neighbouring Brunei's nightlife is somewhat staid – but more than amply made up for by fine restaurants – Kalimantan is its boisterous cousin. Despite being situated in the world's most populous Muslim nation, this vicinity offers some highly-recommended bars and clubs. Its cosmopolitan bigger cities, such as Samarinda, Palangkaraya, Pontianak, Balikpapan and Banjarmasin, all have large expatriate communities, who take their leisure pursuits seriously.


Occasionally likened to the Far-East's Las Vegas, Labuan has developed a strong reputation as a popular spot for relaxation due to its duty-free status. In reality, it is nowhere near as glamorous as the real Las Vegas. Nevertheless, since 1984, when this group of tranquil islands was incorporated into Malaysia, Labuan has always been known as a location with good eating outlets.

It is interesting to note that the government originally saw Labuan as a potential offshore banking hub. Instead it developed an altogether different type of prosperity, thanks to the ready availability of cheap beer. Income from a new petroleum gas installation has allowed Labuan to emerge as somewhere visitors would like to visit.

An introduction to Malaysian wildlife holidays

An introduction to Malaysian wildlife holidays

Malaysia is a country of contrasts. Divided by the South China Sea, it consists of peninsular Malaysia - home to its capital Kuala Lumpur - and Malaysian Borneo. Both of these locations offer an incredibly diverse range of habitats for flora and fauna.

The peninsula

Peninsular Malaysia boasts three main wildlife habitats that form the basis of popular natural history vacations. This facility contains central highlands which are relatively cool, lowland forests teeming with furtive and not-so-secretive inhabitants, and coastlines that are dotted with mangrove swamps.


The Malaysian sector on the island of Borneo contains some of the world's tropical regions' most spectacular rainforest trees, rising from the forest floor to jaw-dropping heights. As you gaze up to the canopy far above you might be fortunate to see monkeys as they stealthily leap from tree to tree. You will certainly be able to hear them! These rainforests are also amongst the world's oldest.

The province of Sabah is home to a diverse range of animals and plants, including one particular species that has almost become synonymous with Malaysia's rich wildlife: the orang-utan.

Nature treks and tours

The indigenous creatures are naturally apprehensive when they see any Homo Sapiens entering their realm – and that's hardly surprising given the damage that has been done through logging and poaching. So the best way to get a good enough view of any wildlife is to embark on official nature treks. Here experienced guides will take you into the forest, negotiating the occasionally treacherous pathways through the dense vegetation. Many animals are territorial, and your guides will appreciate the likely places to catch a glimpse of any of the forest dwellers.

The air above your head will be full of excitable chatter from monkeys and birds, as well as delicately fluttering butterflies. The incredibly rich colour scheme of the latter is enough to take the breath away. Your guide will be able to identify the different types of flying creatures, be they birds, bats or insects.

Mangrove swamps have their own unique biodiversity. Of course, navigating into unknown waters is not to be recommended. However, you can book a canoe trip that will enable you to glide around the partially-submerged vegetation, keeping an eye out for Mangrove Whistlers and Flyeaters.

In Taman National Park there are boat trips that will take you on unforgettable cruises through the area's fabulous locations. There are at least 10 woodpecker species living in the park, making for some fairly noisy background percussion at times! The local hornbills are another popular sight.

Amongst the larger species which Malaysian tours can acquaint you with are Asian elephants, leopards, Malaysian tapirs, tigers and a wide range of monkeys and other primates.

To explore Malaysian Borneo, a three-week tour will allow you to immerse yourself in the local flora and fauna. You can explore the lower slopes of Mount Kinabulu (the 20th highest in the world), as well as the rainforests in Sabah. These treks are run in conjunction with the charity Environmental Investigation Agency, and one of the highlights of any venture into this part of Borneo is the likelihood of spotting orangutans.